Part of our 5 year Wrecked plan includes establishing partners to combat sex trafficking. This past week we’ve had a team traveling across the world on a vision trip to see what opportunities might be available for us to partner with. The issue of sex trafficking is one of the things that has gripped my heart like none other. I cannot begin to imagine the injustices done to girls and women who are taken against their will and sold as slaves. We need to be aware of the atrocities done to women both here and across the world so that we can pray and take action to help set captives free.
Jessica Manuel was one of the women who traveled to India and Thailand this past week. Although we can’t even begin to imagine what these women go through, Jess and the team saw first hand women who have been set free physically and spiritually. Below Jess shares some of her thoughts from the trip:
As we forgive our debtors…
In Matthew 6:7-15 God calls us to pray, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” In verse 14-15 He explains why He said that, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you don’t forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
If we choose to hold fast in an unforgiving spirit, God our Father will not forgive our sins.
I have seen beautifully redeemed women this past week that have embraced forgiveness. Women, who have been mistreated, abused, traded, and trafficked by men who they trusted, loved, and respected. These women have had to face forgiveness. As I sat and listened to women that were once broken, express their love for Jesus and His forgiveness and then express the forgiveness that they bestowed on the ones who mistreated them, it encouraged my heart. I saw true relationship. I saw their love for the Lord in a raw, vulnerable fashion.
I can hardly imagine the difficulty it was to face forgiveness in the way they had to. But, they grasped the concept of forgiveness as Christ calls us to forgive (seventy times seven-Matt.18:22)… and to press on beyond that to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind (Luke 10:27). This relationship allows them to relentlessly love and worship our Father with no shame and guilt. It was an unexplainable time to hear them worship our Savior knowing that they have had to face so much pain and hardship. God’s grace has been extended to them, as it has us, and is sufficient for them (2 Cor.12:9).
God put us in a saving relationship with Christ by sending His Son to die on the cross for us. In that He exemplified the ultimate forgiveness to us (Ephesians 4:32). These women have been beautifully united with Christ by accepting His forgiveness and exemplifying that forgiveness to others.
I wonder how often we justify a broken relationship due to lack of relationship with our Father. Mark 11:25 tells us that “If we hold anything against anyone, FORGIVE THEM, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you and your sins.” This speaks to me about my relationship with my Savior. If I truly desire to be in right relationship with Jesus and for Him to hear me and forgive me, I must forgive others.
I am blessed tonight to see how these women forgive. It is an intentional relentless desire to be in right relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thanks Jess for sharing and challenging us to think about what forgiveness looks like in our own lives.
Easter is two weeks away! We have publicity cards and yard signs for you to take and help tell people about all of the opportunities to worship at Long Hollow Easter weekend.
Continue to pray for Bro David and his family. This is the verse I’ve been meditating on and praying:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Rom 15:13